Baby Talk

Alright, I had meant to post this yesterday. And I had every intention of doing so, but things got busy and life got in the way. I’m sure you know how it goes! However, if it’s any consolation, I couldn’t sleep last night.

At any rate, last week it was time to separate our filly weanlings from the colt weanlings. As the yearlings have now graduated to the barn to begin their training, some space opened up in the pastures to allow us to do so. Which is a really good thing, because at the age of 6, 7 and 8 months or more, little colts can sometimes get bad ideas! And at these young ages, we have no need for “accidents” in the pasture.

First, the JDF crew ran all of the weanlings together into a laneway. A smaller area would allow Clay and his helpers to catch and halter them in a more efficient manner.

Then the idea was to halter the colts and lead them to where a new pasture awaited. The weanlings seemed to think this was pretty exciting. They ran up and down the laneway.

And up and down the laneway again.

All except for one… One little straggler just didn’t see the urgency in running down the laneway.

Or running anywhere for that matter. So Lacey ventured out to give him a little direction.

Finally, all 7 weanlings were right where Clay and Lacey wanted them.

The next step was to halter the boys and while all of our weanlings have been handled several times before, this is still a task easier said than done.

Therefore, a bribe was in order.

That’s when the troublemaker showed up. When Clay wasn’t looking, she got a hold of one of the extra halters and made off like a thief in the night!

Troublemaker didn’t get far however. She stopped when she got to the bribe in the bucket. At that point, Clay was easily able to slip a couple of halters on.

Except on this little guy, who was determined to have the bucket bribe all to himself…

But a few minutes later, Clay and Lacey had all 3 colts caught and haltered and began leading them to their new pasture.

Our old gelding, TK Texican was there waiting for his new boys. For the last couple of years, we have used “TK” as the all-around horse on the ranch to bring in cows, trail ride and as a demonstration horse. Having already paid his dues, TK is required to work only minimally these days. So the rest of the time, we use him in the pasture to teach young stud colts a few manners. And TK is more than happy to do so. In fact, I really think he cherishes his job as a “babysitter gelding.”

Here, one of the weanling colts meets TK for the first time and as you can see, his mouth is open. The colt has engaged in “baby talk” with TK, acknowledging that TK is the alpha horse.

Then the bunch of them started gallivanting around the new pasture again. It takes a few minutes for things to settle down and even though he is right behind them every step of the way, TK is careful not to play excessively with any of the new colts. The only time he gets a little more assertive is if one of the colts steps out of line and is need of some discipline.

It’s a perfect arrangement. Other than hoof care, deworming and vaccinations the colts will be allowed to be horses for the next 12 months. And then next December, the little guys will make their way into the barn for training and the cycle starts again with a new foal crop taking their place for TK to look after.